Home Formula 4Japanese F4 Toyota’s Arakawa wins in F4 at Suzuka after Honda’s Kimura penalised

Toyota’s Arakawa wins in F4 at Suzuka after Honda’s Kimura penalised

by Ida Wood

Photo: Japanese F4

Rin Arakawa has moved into the Japanese Formula 4 title battle with victory in Sunday’s race at Suzuka.

The Toyota junior didn’t actually finish first on the road, but profited from a five-second penalty for on-the-road winner Iori Kimura to take maximum points.

Honda junior Kimura, who won Saturday’s race, took pole and led Arakawa’s team-mate Seita Nonaka up front through the first lap as Arakawa was shuffled from second on the grid to fourth by Nonaka and Honda Formula Dream Project team-mate Syun Koide.

Kimura had to defend from Nonaka going into turn one on the second lap, while Arakawa almost lost further ground by going wide at the hairpin. He recovered well not to lose a place, and was actually attacking Koide before the safety car was called out when Katsunori Keihara spun off.

On the restart Nonaka already alongside Kimura as they crossed the start/finish line and around the outside as they reached turn one. Just behind, Koide and Arakawa ran alongside each other too. Both Nonaka and Koide slipped off track, with Koide putting his wheels in the gravel on the outside and spinning and Nonaka dropping to fifth.

Arakawa moved back into second, a position he held until the end of the 11-lap race when it was revealed that Kimura had a penalty for his defence against Nonaka on the restart. A maiden victory therefore went to Arakawa, while Kimura dropped to fifth behind team-mate Kakunoshin Ohta, Seiya Motojima (Saccess Racing) and Reimei Ito (OTG Motor Sports).

Motojima got ahead of Ohta on the restart lap with a great move down the inside of the right-hander before the hairpin, but Ohta got back by at turn one next time by.

Behind the top five was a three-way Toyota junior battle until the penultimate lap. Eijiro Shimizu and Jiei Okuzumi both attempted to go down the inside of Nonaka into turn one, and Shimizu in the middle made it to the apex ahead. However his car then became unstable, and the rear end went completely over a bump that sent him into a spin.

Nonaka on the outside also hit the bump as he ventured onto the run-off, and had to slow to avoid Shimizu’s spinning car ahead. That left Okuzumi free to take sixth, with Soto Ogawa (Skill Speed) finishing seventh and Nonaka recovering to eighth. Ogawa was then penalised five seconds post-race that dropped him to 12th, and Teppei Tsuruta was disqualified from 12th place.

Race results (11 laps)

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Rin Arakawa TGR-DC RS 26m58.333s
2 Kakunoshin Ohta HFDP +3.153s
3 Seiya Motojima Saccess Racing +3.523s
4 Reimei Ito OTG Motor Sports +3.960s
5 Iori Kimura HFDP +4.459s
6 Jiei Okuzumi TGR-DC RS +4.807s
7 Seita Nonaka TGR-DC RS +7.178s
8 Ryosuke Matsuzawa Helm Motorsports +8.914s
9 Yugo Iwasawa Bionic Jack Racing +9.086s
10 Takuya Otaki Media Do Kageyama Racing +10.082s
11 Daiki Fujiwara KRac Motorsports +11.143s
12 Soto Ogawa Skill Speed +11.153s
13 Daiki Okamoto Bionic Jack Racing +11.434s
14 Sergeyevich Sato Field Motorsports +14.121s
15 HIROBON Rn-sports +14.793s
16 Nobuhiro Imada B-Max Engineering +15.469s
17 DRAGON Zap Speed +15.722s
18 Yutaka Toriba Helm Motorsports +20.487s
19 Eijiro Shimizu TGR-DC RS +23.897s
20 Keiji Nakao TCS Racing Team +25.566s
21 Max Salo ATEAM Buzz Motorsport +27.305s
22 Hachiro Osaka Zap Speed +27.965s
23 Makoto Hotta Akiland Racing +28.563s
24 Masayoshi Oyama Akiland Racing +34.040s
25 Makio Saito Akiland Racing +56.333s
26 Tsuyoshi Usui privateer +1 lap
27 Syun Koide HFDP +1 lap
28 Yoshitsugu Kondo Rn-sports +1 lap
29 YUGO N-SPEED +1 lap
Ret Katsunori Keihara ATEAM Buzz Motorsport
DSQ Teppei Tsuruta ATEAM Buzz Motorsport
Pole: Kimura, 2m08.169s   Fastest lap: Okuzumi, 2m09.301s

Championship standings
1 Nonaka 121   2 Arakawa 103   3 Kimura 94   4 Ohta 91   5 Ito 68   6 Shimizu 58   7 Koide 53   8 Okuzumi 48   9 Ogawa 32   10 Motoyama 21